On Friday, Gov’t Mule hit The Met Philly in Philadelphia, PA for the first stop on their Mule Year’s New Year’s run. The Warren Haynes-led band treated fans to a variety of original tunes, blues covers, and even sit-ins from Ron HollowayDuane Betts, and more.

The band began with an unfinished version of “Traveling Tune” after Haynes ushered Matt Abts (drums), Danny Louis (keys/vocals), and Jorgen Carlsson (bass) to the stage. Midway through, Haynes bellowed “How ya doing?” to which fans cheered back with excitement. “Thorazine Shuffle” preceded a “Pressure Under Fire” > “Banks of the Deep End” segue.

The second half of set one included a rendition of “Rocking Horse” that came before the first cover of the night, “Lively Up Yourself”—an instrumental rendition of the Bob Marley & The Wailers original. “Captured” came next, as psychedelic stage visuals accompanied the dark and melancholic tune which saw Louis take a crack at the six-string along with Haynes.

Mule then welcomed Ron Holloway to the stage to sit in on saxophone for the last two songs of the set. They began with classing John Scofield/Mule collaboration “Devil Likes It Slow”, before moving into a cover of blues pioneer Robert Johnson‘s “32-20 Blues”. Holloway let loose on the sax while Haynes provided slide guitar licks during an extensive jam section, garnering loud applause from the crowd. Louis helped to create a horn “section” by breaking out the trombone during the blues classic.

Set two began much like set one ended: classic blues. Haynes started the set off with an a capella rendition of Son House‘s “Grinnin’ in Your Face”. “You know your mother will talk about you/Your brother and your sisters too/Yeah, don’t care ’bout how you’re tryna live/They’ll talk about you still”, he sang with gusto.

The Carlsson and Abts rhythm section then set up a groove leading into “Wandering Child”. Haynes provided electric slide riffs and powerful vocals. The band once again welcomed Holloway to the stage next for a “Broke Down on the Brazos” > “Tributary Jam” segue followed by a take on “Million Miles From Yesterday”, which featured The Better Half Singers. Holloway, The Better Half Singers, and John Ginty sat-in on a cover of The Box Tops‘ “The Letter”. “Funny Little Tragedy” preceded a cover of Blind Willie McTell-penned live Allman Brothers Band staple “Statesboro Blues”. The blues classic was highlighted by sit-ins from John GintyJohnny Stachela, and Berry Oakley Jr., and was the only song of the night without Jorgen Carlsson. As Ginty, Stachela, and Oakley Jr. left the stage, Carlsson and Holloway rejoined for a “Blind Man In The Dark” > “Trane” > “Blind Man In The Dark” sandwich to close out the second set.

Another special guest, Duane Betts of The Allman Betts Band, joined in for the encore. The explosive version of the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post” allowed for a lengthy jam section where Betts could show off his guitar prowess.

Watch a selection of fan-shot videos from Gov’t Mule’s performance at The Met below:

Gov’t Mule – “Traveling Tune” – 12/27/19

[Video: Sean Roche]

Gov’t Mule – “Rocking Horse” – 12/27/19

[Video: Sean Roche]

Gov’t Mule w/John Ginty, Johnny Stachela & Berry Oakley Jr. – “Statesboro Blues” – 12/27/19

[Video: RymanTube]

Gov’t Mule w/Ron Holloway, The Better Half Singers & John Ginty – “The Letter” – 12/27/19

[Video: Sean Roche]

Gov’t Mule w/Ron Holloway – “32-20 Blues” – 12/27/19

[Video: Sean Roche]

Gov’t Mule – “Broke Down On The Brazos” – 12/27/19

[Video: Sean Roche]

Gov’t Mule w/Duane Betts – “Whipping Post” – 12/27/19

[Video: Sean Roche]

View Videos

Fans who missed out on the show at The Met will have three more opportunities to see Gov’t Mule this week as they continue their Mule Year’s run tonight at Waterbury, CT’s Palace Theater. They will then travel to The Big Apple for two nights at New York City’s Beacon Theatre on December 30th and 31st. For ticket information visit the band’s official website.

Setlist: Gov’t Mule | The Met Philly | Philadelphia, PA | 12/27/19

Set 1: Traveling Tune > Thorazine Shuffle, Pressure Under Fire, Banks Of The Deep End, Rocking Horse, Lively Up Yourself[1], Captured, Devil Likes It Slow[2], 32/20 Blues[2][3]

Set 2: Grinnin’ In Your Face[4], Wandering Child, Broke Down On The Brazos > Tributary Jam, Million Miles From Yesterday[5], The Letter[2][5][6][7], Funny Little Tragedy, Statesboro Blues[6][8][9], Blind Man In The Dark[2] > Trane[2] > Blind Man In The Dark[2]

E: Whipping Post[10]


[1]Bob Marley & The Wailers Cover | [2]w/Ron Holloway | [3]Robert Johnson Cover | [4]Son House Cover | [5]w/The Better Half Singers | [6] John Ginty | [7]The Box Tops Cover | [8]w/Johnny Stachela & Berry Oakley Jr. w/o Jorgen Carlsson | [9]Blind Willie McTell Cover | [10]w/Duane Betts